The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.

We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.

Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.

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A Line Under Sunday, January 13

Fernando TorresMiddlesbrough 1 – 1 Liverpool — Liverpool are the Big Fourth.

Sunderland 2 – 0 Portsmouth — This is why Harry Redknapp is the best manager in England. You take his attention away from his team for one second, and suddenly Kieran Richardson is racing around like Pele. The power of this man is incredible.

Bolton 1 – 2 Blackburn — More than anything, the announcers seemed embarrassed after Kevin Nolan scored his fantastic volley at the end of the first half. It was such a good shot, in such a bad game; it was like the Queen came over on a day when they’d left out the milk.

Arsenal 1 – 1 Birmingham — And the Man of the Match was the African Nations Cup.

Aston Villa 3 – 1 Reading — A relaxed Ashley Young is bad news for opposing defenses. Also for broadband-using nail stylists, children who type the wrong address into the public library terminal, and any small animals who happen to be in the same room with Ashley a half hour before the match.

Derby 0 – 1 Wigan — You can say what you want about Derby, but Wigan really earned their two points from this game. Well done.

Everton 1 – 0 Manchester City — There was a little dazzle and flutter from Man City, a team that at times looks like the snow-globe version of Arsenal. All Everton did was, you know, efficiently pass and score the ball.

Manchester United 6 – 0 Newcastle — If nothing else, Manchester United proved that Newcastle are a solid foundation on which something impressive can be built.

West Ham 2 – 1 Fulham — I’d leave a thought or two here, but I’m assuming you all made detailed notes while watching and studying this match.

Chelsea 2 – 0 Tottenham Hotspur — Spurs have been ordering their salad dressing on the side for the last few weeks, so when Shaun Wright-Phillips scored, it was like he was getting revenge for tiny saucers of vinaigrette everywhere.

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A Line Under Sunday, January 13

by Brian Phillips · January 14, 2008

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